How do you expect her to fall for you, if you aren’t there to catch her?
Red hair, cascading down her back, was all he saw now. In his dreams, in his nightmares. When he hid so he could watch her. Her hips swayed as she walked the length of the book shelves, sucking on her quill absent-mindedly. She bit her lip, pondering on the mass of titles that lay before her eyes.
Her emerald eyes.
Severus Snape slid away from behind the shelf slightly, eloping himself in shadows, as she crouched down to get a better look at the books to the bottom of the shelf. He could see her through cracks in the shelf. She rubbed her eyes as she skimmed the titles, breathing in every word.
Severus Snape silently stood, hesitantly walking around the dusty shelves. He wanted a better look at her. Slipping through a slim gap between this bookshelf and the next, he bushed lank black hair from his beady eyes. He approached Lily Evans wordlessly, breathing with shallow breaths. She stood, her back to him.
The crimson river brushed her waist as she arched her back, holding a stack of books to her hip. She was having trouble balancing them. He knew that they would fall before they did, and a suave catch crossed his mind. He leapt forward, his fingers hungry, when they clattered to the ground.
Blushing, Lily Evans hastily knelt on the floor, collecting her books. She bit her lip as she began to stack them. He approached her again, kneeling down beside her. He picked up a book, and eagerly held it out for her. Without looking up, Lily’s feminine fingers met his as she took the book from him.
“Thank you,” She said with hushed tones, still not looking up, “I’m so clumsy today, I--” She looked up.
His cold, grey eyes met her green ones. There was a moment of silence, before her gaze hardened.
“Thanks.” Her tone was harsh, short. There was no warmth there. She didn’t take her eyes off him, even when his began to water.
“Don’t start,” She whispered, picking up her books. Severus Snape reached to help her, when her books were snatched from his reach, “Go play with the Death Eaters,” She snapped, standing, “And wash your hands.”
“Why?” He asked, longing in his eyes.
“You don’t want mudblood germs, I’m sure.” She stuck her nose in the air, as she placed her books onto a table. She took out her wand, levitating the books.
“I miss you,” He murmured. She didn’t hear him; she was rifling through her bag. With a look of triumph, she pulled out a minuscule jar. She handed it to him.
“I’ve been meaning to give this back,” She slid her back onto her shoulder, and began to walk away without a word. Her steps were meaningful.
With a pang, he held the jar in his fist. The small Acacia blossom was still inside, but it was dead. He could remember giving it to her. The memories clouded his vision and he closed his eyes.
Lily spread out on the grass, grinning; her mane of red hair was almost like a halo. Severus watched her from the corner of his eye, trying not to stare. She was so beautiful. A smile grazed his lips as the sunlight glistened on her hair.
“What?” Lily sat up. One leg was curled underneath her while the other was spread in front of her. Her toes curled through the grass, like Severus wanted to run his fingers through her hair. He looked away quickly, to the general direction of her feet. Her feet were so tiny and her toes so perfect. A single Acacia blossom fell from the tree above them. He carefully picked it up, and smiled again.
“Lily,” He held out the flower, as he conjured a small glass jar, “Here…” He gave it to her.
“Sev,” She returned his smile.
“It means friendship,” Severus smiled. And love, he thought. But he couldn’t say that.
Severus opened his eyes, the grassy smell leaving his nose. It was replaced with the dusty one of the library.
“Lily!” He called. She spun around. He dug into his pocket, and pulled out another jar. Inside lay a purple hyacinth. He approached her carefully, holding the jar out with shaking hands.
“It means ‘please forgive me’ and ‘I’m sorry’ and-” He murmured, holding the jar out. He imagined her taking the jar, and hugging him and making everything better and…
“You think,” She spat, “A flower is going to make everything better? You really think that?!”
Then she was gone. She stomped off, through the door. Severus watched her, willing himself not to cry. He wanted to. He really did. He sat at the table, letting the flower fall out from the jar.
Suddenly, a shriek from outside was heard. He lifted up his head, to see Lily slipping. He stood up; maybe he’d catch her. He didn’t. Someone did.
James Potter’s arms protectively curled around her waist, bringing her closer to him. He held her, and she smiled. She loved him. Severus was no match for him. He knew that. His clumsy movement was no match for Potter’s Quiddich-perfected catching abilities.
“How can you expect her to fall for you, if you aren’t there to catch her?” Severus murmured to himself, as he picked up his over-sized coat and left the library.
The autumn leaves fell in spirals of oranges and reds. James Potter held his new wife close to him; their first dance. To his left he could see Sirius watching them with a wry smile. Lily Potter laughed her laugh that still made his stomach turn as he held her. Her hair smelt of cinnamon, and her eyes lit up when she spoke. Compared to her eyes, nothing shined quite as bright.
“You’re beautiful,” He whispered, as he kissed her softly. She smiled at him, her fingers weaving through his messy hair.
“Did you actually brush your hair today?” Lily said, in mock surprise, as her fingers passed through his hair with little effort.
“Anything for you, Mrs. Potter,” James laughed, as the song finished. Lily hugged him, and looked over his shoulder. She could see something in-between the trees. It was oddly familiar; she couldn’t quite make it out.
James let her go, and walked over to Sirius. Sirius slapped him on the back, obviously congratulating him. Lily walked slowly over to the clearing, her dress trailing behind her. She got to the trees, where a white doe sat. It was a patronus.
It was her patronus.
“Where’d you come from?” She murmured, looking at it tentatively. Suddenly, it disappeared. Where it had sat was a small jar.
“What…” She leant down, and picked it up carefully. Inside was a tiger lily, with a tiny note. She picked it up, and read it. Stunned.
I dare you to love me; Tiger Lily.
It was his writing. Sev’s. A single tear ran down her cheek, as she felt the strong arms of her husband close around her waist. She dropped the note and the jar, the lily still in her hand.
“I wondered where you got to,” James laughed, looking at the tiger lily. He took it from her, a smile grazing his lips, “Hey. It’s almost as pretty as you. Found it here, did you?”
“Yeah,” She whispered, turning to face him. James slipped the flower into her red hair, and kissed her softly.
“Shall we get back to the wedding, Mrs. Potter?”
“Sounds good to me, Mr. Potter,” Lily grinned. She took his outstretched arm, with a giggle, and together they walked back to the wedding.
She didn’t look back. If she had, she would have seen Severus Snape; waiting to catch her if she fell.
Something a little different to anything I've written. Never written Snape/Lily :P